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Understanding Advanced
Christianity

Dear C.:

I am so sorry that you were rejected by your
friend.  <<<long hugs>>>


Someone was moved with compassion, moved
close to the wounded man, and "poured in oil
and wine".  That someone was a heretic and
genetically was a half-breed.  His clan did not
even "know what you worship" per the words of
Jesus.  But he -- the Samaritan -- was moved
with compassion and not moved with repulsion.

Let me chat for a moment about two levels of
Christianity:  mid-level (which is good) and
advanced (which is better), k?

The Major Difference Is This:  Do
They Focus On The Sin or On The
Wounds?

In what I call "mid-level" Christianity, people
focus on "What is right?  What is wrong?  Accept
the right.  Reject the wrong."  

In what I call "advanced Christianity", people
focus on "What are your wounds?"  And, then
they move in close to the wounded to address
the area of woundedness.  And they pour in
healing oil and wine.

    -  For example, a mid-level Christian would
    welcome a new "couple" to his church.  
    Upon learning that the "couple" was co-
    habitating (remaining unmarried but having
    sexual relations), the mid-level Christian
    would say, "Don't you know that co-
    habitation is sin?  It breaks God's heart.  
    You are living in sin.  That is wrong.  We
    need to get you married and stop the sin."

    -  Let's imagine the same situation, but that
    an advanced Christian were to address the
    news that the "couple" is co-habitating.  
    Let's imagine that the advanced Christian
    knows that the "sin" needs to be
    addressed, but builds a friendship over a
    few weeks instead of diving right into what
    might be a very sensitive subject. What
    would the advanced Christian say when he
    felt the time was ripe?  It may be something
    like this: "I accept you and love you two no
    matter what.  But really, could you possibly
    tell me what wounds are keeping you from
    getting married?"

Given the above example, the couple may reply
to the mid-level Christian about the surface
issues:  "We don't really have sex together (a
lie)"  or "well, we really did not know it was sin
(perhaps the truth)"  or "Who on earth are you
to judge and condemn us?  After all, you are
overweight. (a defense)"   And on and on.  They
may converse, but the conversation would stay
focused on outward things, and not be focused
on the real driving issues, that is, the wounds
below the surface.

Again, given the above example, the
hypothetical couple may reply to the advanced
Christian's question about "wounds".  The man
may say something like, "Well, Sandie is a
wonderful woman, and is more than happy to
marry me.  But I've been raised by three
different fathers, and so, I really can't bear the
thought of being like them."

What a precious insight is given to the advanced
Christian that asked about wounds!  Now,
because of the couple's disclosure (in this
example, the man's disclosure), the advanced
Christian doesn't talk about co-habitation being
"sin" and "wrong" -- but the advanced Christian
focuses on the "wound" of a son that cannot
bear the thought of being like his father(s).

What might the advanced Christian explore?  
How about these:  

  • becoming like Christ instead like our human
    father;
  • identifying why the previous fathers
    departed/divorced;
  • validating the son's fear just by listening;
  • introducing the son to men in the church
    that have been married for 30 years (even
    though they came from divorced families);
  • recommending books about keeping a
    marriage strong as time goes on;
  • and a dozen other forms of "he poured in oil
    and wine".

Again, I am sorry that you were wounded.  And,
I am sorry that a "Priest saw the wounded, and
passed by the other side."  [Luke 10]

But really, Priests and Levites are often focused
on "holiness" which they improperly equate to
"avoidance".  Wives are often focused on
security which may translate to avoidance.  
Friends are often focused on their own survival,
which may translate to avoidance.  By the way,
did I mention that the wounded are most often
avoided?

Here are two sayings:  

    Those that live by rules become angry.

    Those that live by romance become hurt.

Have you ever  been "angry" at the car in front
of you?  You most likely were living by rules at
that moment.

Have you ever been "hurt" by what someone
said to you?  You most likely were living by
"romance" at that moment.

The angry "Priest" will kick scriptures on you like
dirt, refuse to even consider allowing you a
defense, and still manage to avoid you.  The hurt
Levite will pray for you with tears in his eyes
with his 5AM prayer cell group, and still manage
to avoid you.

Find a Samaritan.  Really.  That is, find someone
that is able to see your wounds, and is moved by
compassion to talk about your wounds.  Find
someone that will not leave you when you are
near death, but will move you to a safer place.  
Find an "Inn Keeper" that allows the wounded
TG to stay for a time, pay him or her their fee,
and then pour out your heart.  

Samaritans and Inn Keepers are part of God's
solution to wounds... really.

Again, I am so sorry that you were hurt and
your wounds are now deeper and more tender
than before.  

And, I think that we make some honest mistakes
in holding out our bloody and dirty hands to a
Priest or Levite or wife or friend... and if they
cannot be moved to look at our wounds and be
moved by compassion, then shame on us if we
reach out to them again and again.  

Reaching out again to an angry Priest will get
you Christianized hate mail and a letter of
shunning or excommunication.  Reaching out
repeatedly to a romantic Levite, will get you an
emotional outburst with tears and pleading that
you "repent".  

We must learn to discern between the good mid-
level Christian and the better advanced
Christian.  Or, we must be willing to be wounded
even deeper.

Some Samaritans and Inn Keepers are far
away, and they cannot hold your hand or give
you a hug in person.  But thanks to modern
communications -- an email, a letter, a phone
call -- they can give you life-saving and heart-
healing "oil and wine".

And they -- the Samaritans moved by
compassion -- will then live the second
commandment, wherein Jesus redefined the
word "love" as used in "Thou shalt love thy
neighbor as thyself."  Not tough love; not set-
you-right love; but Samaritan love.  It is a
wonderful parable in Luke chapter 10, isn't it?
<soft smile>

Your wounds seem deep, dear sister in Christ.  
Many of here, are willing to be with you as best
we can.  Please accept our "oil and wine" to
comfort and heal you.  And may our Lord teach
you to discern between the good Priest that will
avoid you, and the better Samaritan that will
have compassion upon your wounds.

My prayer for you is this:  May He bring a
Samaritan into your life, dear one.  And, if
possible, may He bring a Samaritan that is within
driving distance.

Much love in Christ always and unconditionally;

Caryn


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(c) Copyright Caryn LeMur 2007
The Collection of Short Works,
Letters, and Poems
Understanding Advanced Christianity
Advanced Christianity sounds
terribly elitist, doesn't it?  And yet,
we need to understand that not all
that know Christ have chosen to
live as Christ taught.

In this letter, I chose to comfort a
sister in Christ who was rejected
by helping her to understand the
difference between 'mid-level
Christianity' (which is good) and
'advanced Christianity' (which is
better).

There are many churches and
pastors, many Christian elders and
leaders, that live and thrive on
mid-level Christianity.

But these will never understand
Luke chapter 10, and the need to
focus on the wounds instead of
the 'sin'.

And the TG-anything needs an
'advanced Christian' that lives
Luke 10.

Please read, and ponder.

Hugs!  Caryn
In Deepest Sympathy -
Poetry for those that grieve
Building Faith, Hope, & Love -
Stories and Writings
A Cup Of Cold Water -
Letters For The Thirsty
A Pause In The Forest -
Poetry for thoughtful moments